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to being a cardinal. take his old name, joseph ratzinger. will he be able to counsel the next pope? >> well, if the next pope would like it, i'm sure he could. however, if -- some people have suggested, wait a minute. you're going to have two popes at work. that's not true. the pope is retiring because he wants to retire. if he wanted to have influence on the church still, he would stay as pope. i would expect very much -- the fact he's going to a monastery -- will be living in a monastery is significant. he wants a quiet life of study and of prayer. i assume that if the new pope wants to ask his counsel, he's clearly going to give it. but he's not going to go -- he's not going to be there looking to try to influence the next pope. >> and the new -- the cardinals will be meeting right after the pope resigns on february 28th at 8:00 p.m. will the deliberations about the next pope begin immediately? >> they could begin. we'll find out that in the next few days. they could technically begin as early as the day after, as early as march 1st. but you have to remember, it's never the conclave, whi
. what has struck me in the 25 years i have known the man who will return to being joseph ratzinger, is the simplicity of his soul. this is a thoroughly convinced christian believer who happens to be one of the smartest people in the world who speaks six or seven languages with complete flewency, who knows the history of biblical religion from "a" to "z." who never wanted to be an executive, a manager, who always thought of himself primarily as a scholar. but who somehow could translate all of that learning into beautiful simplicities about god's love for the world and for god's people. >> and, george, even as we honor the service of this pope, we look forward to the election of a new pope. and tell us about this process. i mean, is this a sort of thing where, for lack of a better term, there are front-runners? >> there will be an enormous amount of ink spilled in the italian press over the next two weeks about front-runners. most of that would be silly. there are a number of cardinals who fit what would seem to me to be the profile. first of all, a man in full physical vigor. that
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